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Gaza rocket lands in open area near Ashkelon

April 5, 2014 8:29 P.M. (Updated: April 6, 2014 11:03 A.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- The Israeli military said on Saturday evening that a rocket from the Gaza Strip struck southern Israel, the fifth such attack since Thursday.

The rocket landed in an open area in the Hof Ashkelon Regional Council in southern Israel and caused no injuries, the Israeli military said in a statement.

Earlier rockets from Gaza also landed in open areas across southern Israel, causing no reported injuries or damage.

Although Hamas -- which runs the Gaza Strip -- and Israel have maintained a fragile ceasefire since Nov. 2012, militant groups in the besieged Palestinian coastal enclave frequently launch rockets into Israel.

The majority of these attacks, which primarily involve homemade projectiles, land harmlessly in open areas across southern Israel.

The most recent flare up came in mid-March, when militant groups fired dozens of rockets after Israeli forces reportedly killed six Palestinians -- including three near the border with Gaza -- in a twenty-four hour period.

Israeli forces responded with air strikes, but the ceasefire was soon re-activated with Egyptian intervention.

Israel has maintained a severe economic blockade on the Gaza Strip's 1.7 million residents since 2006.

The blockade has severely limited the imports and exports of the Gaza Strip and has led to frequent humanitarian crises and hardship for Gazans.
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